Losing a lifetime of double vision
With one small adjustment
A.K.Ramanujan asserts the sense of reality from the above stanza, he laments over the alienated state of Indian emigrants in their exile land. The above stanza clearly posits the Poet’s tussle between the two entities: eastern and western sensibilities. He baffles with two cultures in navigating the authenticity of his native culture. Ramanujan talks about his cultural hybridity in this poem that most emigrants face, immigrants’ culture was not only uprooted in the west but also have been stereotyped by the west.
Jasbir Jain in her article Geographical Dislocation and the Poetics of Exile: Ashis Gupta and Michel Ondaatje writes:
Writers who have moved away from one culture to another are caught between two cultures and are very often engaged either in a process of self -recovery through resort to history and memory or in a process of self-preservation through an act of transformation. (Jain 101)
A.K. Ramanujan’s nostalgic fear and his inner memories in the foreign land give an insecure feeling to his own self. The fear he has which hails from his inner self blends with the social fears. They both amalgamate and end in an existential fear.
Add now, at thirty-nine, to the old fear
Of depths and heights,
Of father in the bedroom, Insects, iodine
In the eye,
Sudden knives and urchin laughter
In the red light alley,